The death of George Ramos, recognized journalist and educator, has created a void that aches in the countless hearts of those he touched in his lifetime.
At age 63, Ramos had become the prime example of what devotion to journalism and the community he served really is.
Who would have guessed that this Chicano boy born in Los Angeles would grow up to win three Pulitzer prizes?
Ramos was once quoted saying, “I can’t just sit on my laurels. I didn’t get into journalism for the rewards. I still consider myself as the kid from East L.A.”
Ramos graduated in 1969 from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He served in the Army during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Purple Heart for a leg injury in 1971. Ramos then returned to his journalism career and worked for Copley News and the San Diego Union until he joined the Los AngelesTimes in 1978, where he stayed until 2003.
Ramos was solely married to his career. His devotion to public service earned him national recognition. In 2007 he was voted into the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ hall of fame. He also served as the California Chicano News Media Association president.
Ramos suffered from diabetes and his death is suspected to be from natural causes. He will always be remembered for his ability to inspire those around him. “This is not a job but a responsibility and to survive, it must become a passion,” said Ramos
with tears in his eyes to his students at the NAHJ convention in Orlando just one month ago, “It is your turn to carry the torch; we must not let the flame go out.”
Editor’s note: This column was previously published on Hispanic Link News Service.